Saturday, July 7, 2012

What is the Gospel?

We can never stray from the central point of everything...

You and I are sinners.  We have all fallen short of the glory of God.  We do not measure up to the holiness God requires.  Not us in our worst, but we at our best are still not righteous enough for the favor and justification of God Almighty.  So God in Christ makes a way.  He imputes to us the righteousness of Christ.  Your righteousness is inadequate, so if you could check off all those things on your box of what Christians do, the Bible still says your righteous deeds are as filthy rags to Him.  So we're going to need a righteousness that goes well beyond our own
righteousness, and we get that in Jesus Christ.

Jesus gives to us His perfection. He gives to us His righteousness. Then on top of that, on the cross of Christ Jesus takes from us the wrath of God due us for our rebellion against Him. So you have imputed righteousness, wrath-absorbing death, and in the resurrection we see the great exchange is complete.  Here is the most spectacular part of it all: You didn't do anything to get that. So God saved you. God rescued you. God opened up your heart. God revealed this to you. You played no part in your salvation except glad submission.

"The gospel is not that Jesus Christ comes to earth, tells us how to live, we live a good life, and then God owes us blessing. The gospel is that Jesus Christ came to earth, lived the life we should have lived and died the death we should have died." - Tim Keller

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Infinite Becomes Intimate

I borrowed a phrase from last Sunday's sermon at The Journey because it is perfectly said.  Last night, I was listening to this song and it brought tears to my eyes though I have heard it many times...

I think we are sometimes so focused on our faith, on our sin, on our struggles, on our needs, on our response to God, that we fail to see things from God's perspective.  It is true that God's thoughts and ways are higher than ours and there will always be an inability for a finite sinner to grasp the infinite holiness of God.  But God shares His heart with us through His word.  We get glimpses of His purity, power, goodness, justice, mercy and grace.

So, take what you know about God from the Bible and immerse yourself in how He must see you and think of you in order to do what He has done for you.  When I do that, all the other stuff fades into the background and I am left with a perfect Father in heaven who came to rescue me at a cost to Himself that I can never comprehend.

He gave everything.  He did everything.  There is no price He did not pay.  It is finished.

And this is the sermon I referenced earlier.  It is one of the best sermons I have heard on who God is and what He has done for us.